Sunday, December 16, 2012

A Wrinkle in the Holiday Cheer

This week the country stopped and, collectively, we mourned a time of innocence, when we didn't think twice about dropping our children off at school. I must admit I'm pretty shaken up about the recent school shooting as it hits closer to home now with Spencer in school two mornings a week.

Be strong and of good courage, do not fear nor be afraid of them; for the Lord your God, He is the One who goes with you. He will not leave you nor forsake you.
-Deuteronomy 31:6

Grandpa Johnny and Grandma Ethelyn as a young couple.
On another sad note, my grandpa passed away last weekend. He was six days shy of his 101st birthday. He lived a long, fulfilling life; and he will definitely be missed. I left the boys home with David while I attended the visitation and funeral back home alone. It was the first time I was away from Ashton overnight. We both survived.

And now on to more holiday cheer....

We got our first big snowfall of the season, so I bundled up the boys and we headed outside to enjoy some outdoor fun. It was Ashton's first real time playing in the snow and he wasn't a huge fan. All the layers of clothing made it nearly impossible for him to move; and his mittens kept falling off, exposing his little fingers to the cold snow. Spencer, on the other hand, loved every single second of it. I brought out beach buckets and shovels and he plopped down and began digging.

It was hard for Ash to balance on the sled and kept falling over. He wasn't too happy.

He was far more content off the snow, but it was quite hard getting him OUT of the swing.

Since Ashton didn't particularly love playing outside in the snow, I decided to bring some inside instead. After I put some mittens on Ashton's hands, he decided it wasn't so bad after all, not to mention a tasty treat.

Can't let the snow on his toes go to waste!

We did a few projects this week, of course--our traditional picture ornaments and a keepsake hand print project. Spencer also brought home a present he made at preschool.
Coloring the paper for the ornaments.

The ornament on the bottom right is Ashton's from last year. Look how he's grown!
Keepsake hand print project. I display them every year at Christmas. Last year we made reindeer.

Present Spenc brought home from preschool.
One of Spencer's friends turns three this week, so we celebrated with a monster truck party. I made Jackson one of my blankets as a gift.
Snuggling with his birthday blanket.

Spencer participated in his very first Christmas program at church, and it probably was the most precious thing I have ever seen. My cheeks hurt from smiling so much.
Christmas outfits. They match, of course.

"This Little Light of Mine."

Cheering big brother on.
Look how small they are in the pew!
"Angels We Have Heard on High."
My little lamb.

Our third annual Rotary Lights trip with the Zeisels was a hit. Sadly, this year there wasn't much snow on the ground, but thankfully the temperature was much warmer. The older kids--Spencer and Briella--very much enjoyed the lights display, but Ashton and Bryson hunkered down in their strollers, a dazed expression on their faces.
Our traditional family pose in the sleigh.

I love how Spenc is looking up at Penguin Briella!

Dancing under the flashing lights.

Note how Spenc is licking the candy cane. I didn't notice this at picture taking time. Delicious!

Snuggled under a blanket--an improvement from last year hidden under a car seat cocoon.

Also this week, we continued our gift giving, as instructed by Santa Claus. Spencer made an extra special picture for his friend, Jackson; we shopped for a toy to donate to Toys for Tots; Grandma Amy received a matching set of our picture ornaments; and we donated canned goods at the Rotary Lights. Santa delivered another set of Christmas books and movies, as promised.
Spencer instructed me what to write on the picture for his buddy. He was extremely excited to give it to him.

More random things from our week:
Spencer is practicing songs for his mini preschool concert (with a cameo from an unhappy brother).

Test driving some toys at Barnes and Noble.
Spencer's recent obsession: cutting. Since starting preschool, he has learned how to cut one-handed, and he loves practicing. I learned a valuable lesson to keep anything of value out of reach, because he will cut it!

Helping Daddy shovel the driveway.
Snuggling with Daddy.

I checked out these snazzy princess rollerblades from the ECFE library for Spencer to practice. It's not looking promising that he'll join us this year on our annual rollerskating trip.
Shaving like Daddy.

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